Mr. JAMES DAVIS TAYLOR (New Westminster).
Although the ground has been very fully covered by other members from British Columbia, I consider it my duty to rise and add my quota to the explanations which have been made regarding the special case of the province of British Columbia. Let me say at the outset that I appreciate the compliment paid to the members on the Conservative side from British Columbia by the right hon. the leader of the government when he said that in our province this election was fought on principle, and I wish to congratulate the Conservative members generally on his further statement that in the other provinces the test was not so much of principle as an appeal to sectional feeling and prejudices. I would like to point out that the result of the appeal to principle in British Columbia was a substantial Conservative majority, and that the result of the sectional appeals throughout the rest of Canada was a Liberal majority. We have the admission of the right hon. gentleman himself to this effect, when he told us that his party had adopted a pamphlet issued against it by a certain organization in this Dominion, but intended only as an address to those interested in the principles of that organization. Well, we hove the First Minister admitting that his
party had circulated that same appeal in quarters hostile to the organization which issued it; and had done this for the purpose of injuring the Conservative party.
It seems to me that this debate has taken a most extraordinary turn, and that we have reached a new era in parliamentary affairs when we find the leader of the House, in his speech on the address, making no mention of the legislation promised and giving no explanation of any of the measures outlined in the speech from the Throne, but instead making theatrical production of shoddy in the shape of a disputed telegram and laying a copy of it on the table, although it was well known to his associates at least that that telegram had been repudiated by the hon. gentleman whose name was signed to it. It certainly was a most unusual experience for a new member to be taunted, as the hon. member for Victoria was taunted the other night by the leader of this House, with having secured his seat by false pretenses and with occupying a seat which by right should belong to another. I think we should have further explanation as to the origin of that telegram. I think we should have heard something on that point from the hon. member from Nanaimo (Mr. Smith), who took up a good deal of time this afternoon. We should have heard something from him regarding the control of the ' Colonist,' in which that telegram appeared It would certainly have come with very gcod grace from him to tell the House that the ' Colonist ' is not in any sense of the word a concern in which the Conservative party has any proprietary control. The ' Colonist,' so far as its ownership is concerned, is a thoroughly independent newspaper, and its editor is one of the most pronounced and prominent Liberals in all British Columbia, and a close personal friend, if I am not very much mistaken, of the hon. member from Nanaimo, who this afternoon sought to make the House believe that this telegram had emanated from sources entirely favourable to the hon. member for Victoria (Mr. Barnard), and that the Conservative party should be held responsible for the use made of it. I would like to add that the facts I have mentioned regarding the control of the ' Colonist ' are very well known to the members of this government. It seems to me-and I say it with all the humility which becomes a young member making his first appearance that it is not in accord with parliamentary traditions that stigma should be cast on a whple party because of a document as to which that party cannot be held responsible.
I wish to add that I do not impute any wilful wrong to the 'Colonist ' newspaper or its editor. In justice to one of the great newspapers of British Columbia- and with which I had at one time a pretty long connection-I can say that, so far as I know, that newspaper is conducted now, as
ever, on the most honourable lines. I would like to have an explanation as to how this telegram came to be distorted, but 1 would not for a moment attribute any wilful distortion to the ' Colonist.' But when you examine the words substituted, namely, ' The absolute exclusion of Asiatic labour,' and contrast them with the words said by the leader of the opposition to have been in the telegram signed by him, namely, ' the absolute protection of white labour/ when you contrast these and get ycur mind away, for the moment, from the enormity of making any alteration whatever in a telegram published with the signature of the author, you will find that, after all, there is very little difference between them.
Topic: ADDRESS IN ANSWER TO HIS EXCELLENCY'S SPEECH.